BRing

BRing - The Broadcasting Ring
Team Name: 
Full Circle

The Broadcasting Ring - What is it?

The Broadcasting Ring - BRing for short, is a visualisation of a chronological subset of the television broadcast data archive. It attempts to clearly demonstrate to the viewer which shows have been broadcast over the years in a creative and visually distinct manner. The application works by parsing a csv file and populating a series of rings with nodes. Each ring represents a year in broadcasting, with each node making up the ring representing a TV Programme that aired that year.

Very early on, our team decided to work on making a visualisation instead of trying to infer new data from our given datasets. With that goal in mind, we quickly decided on Unity, as its workflow supports fast 3d and 2d prototyping. Our first goal was to decide what data we were going to use. After finding the ABC's Television Broadcast Data Archive, we decided that would be our chosen dataset. There was one problem though. The csv contained over 9.7 million entries! While one can never have too much data given infinite time, we were on a temporal budget, so had to trim the dataset down to a manageable size. For that reason, we initially decided to use a 50000 row snippet of the dataset.

Brendan and Gerralt worked on the backend, creating a parser capable of (relatively) efficiently parsing such a large number of strings. While they were working on that, Aaron worked in Unity, creating the basic form and structure of the system. A rudimentary string parser was used for testing while the other two were working on the Linq parser.

One the Linq parser was complete, porting the c# project over to Unity went smoothly, as Unity uses mono for a lot of its functions. The end result is an application that alphabetically and chronologically sorts TV shows in a distinct and (subjectively) appealing way.

Early Build Screenshots:
Basic Functionality: 
http://imgur.com/JkMGxm3 - Basic Concept Demonstration - Two "Years" worth of information; Lines link Shows common to both years.
http://imgur.com/DdVwas5 - Final Implementation / Fast Demonstration using 7 years of data between 1978 and 1984.
http://imgur.com/7IgTYxs - Final Implementation / Full Demonstration using 24 years of data between 1968 and 1992.

Datasets Used: 
Television Broadcast Data Archive - https://data.gov.au/dataset/television-broadcast-data-archive

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